by Carla Downing
Do most of your attempts to change your husband not only fail but result in distancing him from you and making your marriage worse? If so, you will benefit from the following eight things you can do to get your husband to do what you want:
-Ask if it is a good time to talk. If you don’t first get his attention and cooperation, you are doomed.
Keep it simple, short, and direct. Men don’t like to guess about what you want.
-Be willing to ask more than once without contempt – men forget and they don’t have the same priorities and concerns women have. The typical guy doesn’t see what needs to be done and if he does, doesn’t see it as his problem or a priority.
-Ask respectfully without attacking, blaming, or judging. Attacking provokes defensiveness.
-Be willing to fight for what is important to you.
-Appreciate all of his efforts-even if it is something you think he should do and hasn’t done in a while. Instead of saying “It’s about time” and showing your irritation, appreciate all of it and notice what he does. Men are motivated by appreciation for the little and big things. Make a big deal about it and he is likely to do it again.
-Respect him as a man- just because he is. Men want to be respected regardless of what they do. Speak to him respectfully without contempt and insults, recognize his manhood, look at him as the head of the house, believe in him, and see the best in him.
-Challenge him to be the man he can be. If your marriage is safe, ask your husband what you can do to show you respect him. (This doesn’t mean you have to accept any type of behavior and can’t have boundaries or ask him to change. You can and should have strong boundaries against unacceptable behavior.)
-Barter. Yes, use bartering. Offer him things he wants: time alone, sports time, guy time, food, and sex. Men like cause and effect. This way they know what they are getting for their efforts. How about “If you help me with the dishes or put the kids to bed, we can have sex.” Women think this is manipulative and wrong, but men love it because it is the way they think.
Do these eight things and you will have figured out how to get your husband to do what you want by understanding that God made men and women different and that taking advantage of it is wise.
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